Planning the pantry list for your next RV road trip? Don’t forget you can save a little money by tossing junk food and packing snacks that will fuel your family with healthy choices.
You might be thinking that healthy foods aren’t kid-friendly, but the good news is that with a little preparation and the right ingredients, snack time can be healthy, tasty, and hassle-free. This can help make camping with kids an absolute blast. Start with these five family-friendly ideas with options for food sensitivities and allergies.
Let’s start with the more substantial options that can be heavier snacks or even substitute as a light lunch perfect for a roadside picnic area.
1. Rainbow Veggie Wraps
These simple wraps can be sliced into small servings to making eating on the go simple. Simply roll thinly sliced veggies on your wrap of choice with a little guacamole, hummus, or cream cheese to hold it all together. We don’t use toothpicks since they can be dangerous for little ones. Store them seam side down in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight and they hold up well.
Once again, there are so many options. Choose those that your family loves best. Here are some colorful ideas:
- Red: roasted bell pepper, sun-dried tomato
- Orange: shredded carrots, orange bell pepper
- Yellow: corn, yellow beets
- Green: greens (assorted varieties), edamame, broccoli, celery
- Blue/Purple: olives, onion, beets, cabbage
- 1 package wraps
- 4 oz hummus, guacamole, cream cheese
- 2 cups sliced/shredded veggies
- Spread hummus, guacamole, or cream cheese on a wrap
- Top with veggies of choice
- Roll & slice
2. Fruit, Cheese, and Pretzel Kabobs
Who doesn’t love eating food on a stick? In this case, the stick is edible too! These kabobs are the perfect combination of fresh fruit and some protein from the cheese cubes. There are so many options of soft fruit and cheese that you can stack on pretzel sticks: bananas, grapes, kiwi, melon, strawberries, and so many more.
- 1 bag thin stick pretzels
- 2 cups of fruit, whatever you like
- 4 oz cheese block of choice
- Lemon juice, stops fruit browning
- Slice or cube fruit into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with lemon juice to stop browning
- Cube the cheese
- Push pretzels through cheese cube and fruit
Dairy-free option: Add a little peanut butter (or other nut butter) instead of cheese. My kids love banana peanut butter kabobs!
Now onto the finger foods that don’t require any refrigeration.
3. No-Bake Granola Bars
The problem with many store-bought brands of granola bars is that they are over sweetened and heavy on calories. That’s what is so great about these granola bars, you know exactly what is in them.
Like all the other snacks I’ve shared, you can mix up the ingredients and pick things you know your kids love best. Ideas include chocolate chips, caramel chips, dried fruit, mini marshmallows, or a variety of nuts.
- 1/2 cup butter (or non-dairy substitute)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 cups quick oats
- 2 cups crisp rice cereal
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Favorite add-ins (see ideas above)
- In a large bowl, stir the oats, crisp rice cereal, and chia seeds together.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the butter and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Stir vanilla into the honey mixture and pour over dry ingredients stirring until combined.
- Transfer to a lightly greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Press firmly to pack it in. Sprinkle add-ins on top and gently press them in.
- Let cool overnight and cut into bars.
4. Sweet Potato Banana Mini Muffins
These sweet mini muffins are a family favorite and hold up well on a road trip. Packed with fiber they are a filling snack and are sweet enough to substitute as dessert.
The combination of banana, sweet potato and apple sauce make them super moist without any added oil. Substitute plant milk to make them dairy free.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour, or any whole grain flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, or 3/4 cup date paste
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon, ground
- 1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked
- 1 ripened banana
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1 cup skim milk or any plant milk
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together–flour (or substitute your favorite gluten free flour to make some delicious gluten free snacks), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Peel and mash sweet potatoes and banana.
- Stir together apple sauce, almond milk, and vinegar in another bowl.
- Add mashed sweet potatoes and banana and mix well.
- Combine the dry mixture of flour and spices to the wet mixture and toss in walnuts, if using.
- Stir together thoroughly.
- Spoon batter into a non-stick mini muffin pan, filling them 3/4 of the way to the top.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
5. Popcorn Trail Mix
Again, you could buy this at the store, but making your own personalizes it and saves money. The perfect mixture of sweet and salty snack comes together in minutes. Make in a big batch, then package individual servings in reusable containers or plastic baggies.
Beware that popcorn and whole nuts are a choking hazard for kids under age four.
- 6 cups popped popcorn, any flavor—plain, lightly salted is great
- Favorite add-ins including dried fruit, nuts, pretzel pieces, candy pieces
Our favorite blend includes 1 cup dried banana chips, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup peanut butter candy pieces (such as Reese’s Pieces), and 1 cup salted peanuts. Yum!
A healthier option that would travel well on hot days includes 1 cup roasted, unsalted almonds, 1 cup dried banana chips, and 1 cup of naturally sweetened raisins or cranberries.
Hopefully, these recipes help make camping with your kids an even more enjoyable experience. If you’re looking for good camping meal recipes, check out our Cooking in a Camper video series!
Share with us what your favorite kid-friendly snacks are below!